Wednesday, September 4, 2013

We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver

Oh my, where to start?  First, if you have seen or plan to see the movie of this book, it is a very poor rendition of the book.  I rented it after I finished reading and the movie in no way conveys the voice or depth of this story.

A mother whose son has committed a terrible crime writes letters to her ex-husband in an attempt to explain and understand why their son turned out as he did.  Her ambivalence at becoming a mother when she had a successful career that took her to travels all over the world lays the groundwork for a difficult birth and a failure to bond with her son.  Her husband's blindness to any flaws in the child puts them at odds over his upbringing.  The boy is a chameleon, reacting ominously to her least command and turning a puppy-love face to his father.  Her growing desperation at her inability to deal with him, her almost prescient gloom that he would bring the family to great suffering has the reader asking - nature or nurture?  Is she a good mother? Are her letters after the fact, too little, too late?

I found it an engrossing read, not one to skim quickly.  There is a twist at the end that came as a surprise to me and I'd enjoy hearing what other readers thought.

Published:  2003    Read: August 2013  Genre: Fiction

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